10/28/2014

Exiting early from a military concert is disrespectful and rude

The Army Field Band and Soldier's Chorus performed in the small town where I live. The high school gym doesn't have the best acoustics but the concert was excellent. Patriotic tunes and ragtime hits stole the show. The performers did their country proud. An encore of the Star Spangled Banner was performed that would have made John Phillips Sousa proud. However, I don't think that he would have been as proud of the audience.

I was saddened to see people leave during the encore. Exiting early from a military concert is disrespectful and rude. Except for the family with a crying child, there was no reason that all audience members couldn't have waited the few extra minutes that it took for the concert to end. It only took a few minutes to leave the high school parking lot after the concert.

Leaving early wasn't simply wrong, but those who left missed a real treat.

10/11/2014

Yes, college can happen after foot drop

Emergency surgery for foot drop had me hobbling around in spring 2013. I was finally cleared to drive in May, but only after months of physical therapy and doctor visits. It's been a long haul. Flash forward to 2014, college classes and foot drop. Younger students seem to skip around campus with backpacks are defiantly slung over one shoulder. It's a fast-paced frenzy to the education finish line that they intend to win.

I, in contrast, am a turtle racing with the rabbits. Despite a nearby handicapped space, getting to the building takes a few minutes. Foot drop has seen to it that backpacks have no place in my life anymore.

9/23/2014

My financial aid appeal was denied

Several of you have asked for an update about my financial aid status at Pellissippi State. I thought it would be easiest to post here. My return to Pellissippi State Community College came after a break of two decades. My daughters were toddlers during my first attempt. The younger of the two had a bout with meningitis and then had major surgery for a stomach issue. She is 24 now and doing great. However, her health challenges caused me to drop school back then to take care of her.

Flash forward to Fall 2014, everyone else in the household has an education except me. I returned to Pellissippi State and re-enrolled as a student for fall 2014. My college experience there had been excellent. My credits are there and the school still had a good reputation. It made sense to return to Pellissippi.

My hunch would be that since my income has changed over the years, that my financial aid eligibility would too. My tuition was covered from another source. It's books that were going to be a problem.The financial aid rep that I spoke with assured me that I could take out a student loan for the fall. Based on information from the financial aid representative, I registered for a full-time course load.

Then, the bombshell hit and my financial aid appeal at Pellissippi was denied. The reason given is unsatisfactory academic progress. The Pellissippi State Community College policy is that students must pass a certain percentage of the classes attempted in order to receive financial aid.

I get that but I also get that it's 22 years later and my situation has changed dramatically. I was told that supporting documentation could be provided and the financial aid appeal would be considered. The information was gathered and online appeal process was begun. Word arrived today that my financial appeal was rejected by Pellissippi. The reasons stated are in the screenshots.

My GPA isn't bad. I am listed as being in good academic standing for Summer 1992 (the last semester that I attended before this fall).


You can see that the problem isn't my grades. It's that I attempted college when my daughter was sick and had to withdraw to take care of her. No classes were attempted between then and now at Pellissippi State Community College or elsewhere. I'm not sure how or why the school revoked my academic good standing since my last semester in attendance.

All I know is that it was revoked, the appeal was denied despite supporting documentation and that I'm not sure how to finish paying for my books (which are on a credit card right now).

It is disappointing that Pellissippi State Community College didn't tell me this when I originally spoke with them at financial aid. Had they done so, I wouldn't have registered for a full-time load of classes.

In my opinion, this situation stinks.  I am looking at several different ideas to help me pay off the books. Next semester isn't an issue because of a possible reimbursement at work. However, I will need to put the books on the credit card until the reimbursement can be processed in the spring and that means paying off the bill that I know have. Having the financial aid appeal denied at Pellissippi has put me between a rock-and-a-hard-place.

I will keep everyone posted through the blog on how you can help. Thanks for being encouraging! You guys are awesome. :-)